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JUN 17, 2020 6:00 AM PDT

Role of serology in the next phase of COVID-19 investigation and response

Sponsored by: GenScript
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Professor & Director, Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
    Biography
      Linfa Wang, PhD, is the director of the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. Having completed his Bachelor's degree in 1982 at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, Wang went on to obtain his PhD at the University of California, Davis. His early research was at the Monash Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine. In 1990, he joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), where he played a leading role in identifying bats as the natural host of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. His research then extended from bat-borne viruses to bettering understanding virus-bat interaction, and he led an international team carrying out comparative genomic analysis of two bat species. They discovered an important link between adaptation to flight and bats' ability to counter DNA damage repair as a result of fast metabolism and to co-exist with a large number of viruses without developing clinical diseases. Wang's work has been recognized internationally through various international awards, numerous invited speeches at major international conferences and many top scientific publications, including Science, Nature, Nature Reviews in Microbiology, Lancet Infectious Diseases and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), along with five patents and many invited book chapters. He holds a number of honorary positions and memberships and has received numerous awards such as the 2014 Eureka Prize for Research in Infectious Diseases. In 2010, Wang was elected as a fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in recognition of his expertise in new and emerging diseases. Wang is also active internationally by serving on various editorial boards for publication in the areas of virology, microbiology and infectious diseases. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the Virology Journal.

    Abstract

    With more than 6 million infections and more than 300,000 deaths (as of end of May 2020), the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to large scale lockdown around the world to prevent further spread of the disease.

    From the initial effort of rapid diagnosis and containment, the international community is now facing the challenge of an effective and pragmatic “exit” strategy to balance the public health risk versus the huge economic losses as a result of the travel ban and lockdown measures globally.

    Among the many challenges of onging COVID-19 investigation and repsonses, the follwong three stands out as the most pressing: 1) A good understanding of protective immunity and longevity of immunity to better advise/design “exit” strategy and policy; 2) Rapid development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine(s) and a reliable testing platform capable of assessing and monitoring vaccine efficacy en masse; and 3) Investigation of virus origin and the early animal-to-human transmission events to prevent future outbreaks.

    Serology will play a key role in all three areas. In this presentation, different serological platforms currently used for COVID-19 testing will be reviewed and compared together with the introduction of a novel platfom, the surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT), that we have developed recently.

    Learning Objectives:
    1. Challenges for next phase of COVID-19 outbreak

    2. Role of serology in meeting some of these challenges


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